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The introduction of information technologies into teaching and learning prompted educators to reexamine the spaces where learning takes place and to design new learning spaces that take fuller advantages of the possibilities that technology offers. The work done on learning spaces has been extremely valuable and serves as the foundation for an expanded look at other factors that affect learning and the context in which learning spaces exist. Those factors include space, but a broader look at the conditions and circumstances of learning reveals that learning is equally influenced by people, by technology and the resources it affords access to, and by the cultural backdrop against which learning takes place. These elements come together in a new, broader discussion of learning environments, which builds on the resources and knowledge generated about learning spaces.
The term learning environment encompasses learning resources and technology, means of teaching, modes of learning, and connections to societal and global contexts. The term also includes human behavioral and cultural dimensions, including the vital role of emotion in learning, and it requires us to examine and sometimes rethink the roles of teachers and students. The focus on information technology in education is expanding from the enhancement of learning spaces to include factors beyond hardware, software, and the network. The learning environment is a composite of human practices and material systems, much as an ecology is the combination of living things and the physical environment.
Articles and Reports
- The Connected Learning Environment, EDUCAUSE Brief, July 2013. This brief describes three hallmark characteristics of connected learning and provides several examples that illustrate each characteristic.
- Privacy Considerations in Cloud-Based Teaching and Learning Environments, ELI White Paper, November 2010.
- The following EDUCAUSE Quarterly Magazine themed issues contain various articles on Learning Enviroments;
- Making the Case for Space: Three Years of Empirical Research on Learning Environments, EDUCAUSE Quarterly, Vol. 33, No. 3, 2010
- Reflections on Play, Pedagogy, and World of Warcraft, EDUCAUSE Quarterly, Vol. 33, No. 3, 2010
- Eight Simple Ways to Embrace the "Froom", EDUCAUSE Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 4, 2009
- Learning Environments: Where Space, Technology, and Culture Converge, ELI white paper, October 2009
- ELI 7 Things You Should Know About...
- Active Learning Classrooms Pilot Evaluation: Fall 2007 Findings and Recommendations, University of Minnesota, 2007. Report and Web Site
- New Learning Environments for the 21st Century, John Seely Brown, Aspen Symposium 2005
- EDUCAUS Learning Initiative 2010 Annual Meeting, "Learning Environments for a Web 2.0 World"
- EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative 2009 Online Fall Focus Session, "Flattening the Classroom: Building Collaborative Learning Environments"
- EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative 2008 Fall Focus Session, "Revisting Learning Space Design"
Conference Sessions, Videos, and Web Seminars
- The Future of Learning Environments, EDUCAUSE Video, July 2010
- Building Best Practices for Data-Driven Assessment of Technology-Enabled Learning Spaces, ELI Annual Meeting, January 2010.
- Stanford University's Wallenberg Hall: Looking Back, Looking Forward, ELI Annual Meeting, January 2010.
- Clickers and Peer Instruction: A Powerful Way to Improve Student Engagement and Learning, but Only If You Do It Right, ELI Web Seminar, October 05, 2009
- A Space of One's Own: Learning Environments Derived from User-Centered Discovery Techniques, EDUCAUSE Live!, November 21, 2008
- Guidelines for Implementing Authentic Tasks in Web-Based Learning Environments, ELI Web Seminar, November 3, 2008
- Creating Learning Environments that Promote Active Learning, Critical Thinking, Collaborative Learning, and Knowledge Creation, A Solutions in Action Webcast, September 21, 2009
- Powerful But Not a Panacea: Virtual Worlds as a Tool for Situational Learning, ELI Web Seminar, February 19, 2008
- Assessing What Students Learn in Technology-Based Learning Environments, ELI Web Seminar, September 15, 2006
Library Items on this Topic
EDUCAUSE Library Items for Learning Environments
- Changing the Culture of Learning One Class at a Time
February 3, 2014
A session at the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Annual Meeting
Auburn University is planning a new central classroom facility that will contain a number of active learning classrooms. One classroom has already been built to gather information on effective cl…
- The Annual ECAR Student and IT Study
November 12, 2013
A session at the EDUCAUSE LIVE! - The Annual ECAR Student and IT Study
The EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) conducts an annual study about undergraduates' technology experiences and expectations in higher education. The results of this study pro…
- 7 Things You Should Know About Collaborative Learning Spaces
January 8, 2013
Alternative classroom designs have emerged that support collaborative learning and shift the focus away from lecture-based formats. Collaborative learning spaces generally involve new…
- Living and Learning with New Media: Findings from the Digital Youth Project
January 1, 2010
Social network sites, online games, video-sharing sites, and gadgets such as iPods and mobile phones are now fixtures of youth culture. They have so permeated young lives that it is hard to bel…
- Hallmarks of the Breakthrough Models, #1: Modular Courses
January 15, 2013
Editor’s Note: This post is the first in a series from Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC). Each post highlights a distinguishing design characteristic of NGLC’s recently funded Brea…
- Building Blocks for College Completion: Blended Learning
December 11, 2012
Ten projects funded by Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) in the initiative’s first round of investment in 2011, known as Wave I, sought to scale the adoption of blended learning model…
- Matchbook Learning
November 28, 2012
Updated November 2013 Matchbook Learning has been refining a student-centered, blended, turnaround school model. Students are leveled by what they know and can do, not by age or grade leve…
- Breakthrough Models for College Completion: The Next Generation of Models for Higher Education
November 28, 2012
Updated October 2013 This compilation of Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) grantee profiles illustrates the innovative approaches of 9 new postsecondary degree program designs …
- Breakthrough Models for College Readiness: An Introduction to Next Generation Blended Schools
November 28, 2012
Updated December 2013 This compilation of Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) grantee profiles illustrates the innovative approaches of 27 personalized, blended, competency-based …
- Education Achievement Authority: Nolan Elementary-Middle School
November 28, 2012
Updated November 2013 Charged by the governor of Michigan to transform the lowest five percent of the persistently lowest achieving schools in the state while simultaneously developing a…